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Tag Archives | urban beekeeping

“What’s killing the bees? —my question has shifted more towards, “Good lord, what doesn’t kill bees”

“…Colony Collapse Disorder is a problem. But it isn’t the problem. Instead, it’s just a great big insult piled on top of an already rising injury rate. Saving the honeybee isn’t just about figuring out CCD. Bees were already in trouble before that came along. “ 

Maggie Koerth-Baker

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“Welcome to the world, baby bee.”

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1993 Slovenia Moneta Coin Apis Mellifera

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People fear that if there’s a beehive on their rooftop, they’ll be stung… [but] Honeybees are interested in water, pollen and nectar… The real danger is the skewed public perception of the danger of honeybees.

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Bug Girl writes:

I love books, and I love words, so I was excited to find an website that specializes in breaking down the origins of common catch phrases.  Today’s phrase: The Bee’s Knees.

According to that site (and a few other sources), references to “bee knees” occasionally occurred in the early 1900?s:  ’Bee’s knees’ began to be used in early 20th century America. Initially, it was just a nonsense expression that denoted something that didn’t have any meaningful existence…..That meaning is apparent in a spoof report in the New Zealand newspaper The West Coast Times in August 1906, which listed the cargo carried by the SS Zealandia as ‘a quantity of post holes, 3 bags of treacle and 7 cases of bees’ knees’…… Zane Grey’s 1909 story, The Shortstop, has a city slicker teasing a yokel by questioning him about make-believe farm products:

“How’s yer ham trees? Wal, dog-gone me! Why, over in Indianer our ham trees is sproutin’ powerful. An’ how about the bee’s knees? Got any bee’s knees this Spring?”

Pretty much everything I’ve read, though, agrees that the likely popularization of the phrase really occurred in the 1920?s, the period of the flappers.  ”Bee’s knees” is part of a fashion for nonsense rhyming slang from the Roaring 20sThe common feature of the slang expressions was mention of an animal part with some alliteration thrown in.  Some of my favorites:  ”elephant’s adenoids”, “caterpillar’s kimono”, “gnat’s elbows”, “kipper’s knickers”, and “eel’s ankle”.  You have probably heard another phrase that’s survived from that period:  ”The Cat’s Pajamas.”

All of these phrases generally translate to what, today, would be said as “Awesome!” (Although I suspect there is a newer word for that, but I’m just too old and un-hip to know about it.)

The phrase occurs in print in several places in the US in 1922; Newspapers published “Flapper Dictionaries” to explain the strange and baffling lingo of those damn kids.   There is a reference to the term in a Flapper Dictionary from Missouri in 1922; The Newark Advocate, (Ohio) in a 1922 piece printed:

“That’s what you wonder when you hear a flapper chatter in typical flapper language. ‘Apple Knocker,’ for instance. And ‘Bees Knees.’ That’s flapper talk. This lingo will be explained in the woman’s page under the head of Flapper Dictionary.”

Alas, while the concept of the phrase referring to the collection of pollen on actual bees’ knees is appealing, it appears not to be the case.

If you want to have a fun 20?s flashback, here’s some Harold Lloyd driving around NYC.

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Backwards Beekeepers: Hollywood Hills cut-out

Backwards Beekeepers: Hollywood Hills cut-out

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More than 1,000 People Want Urban Beekeeping in Mar Vista
“Organizers have collected more than 500 hand-written signatures and more than 600 online signatures from Change.org members. Let’s keep the momentum going!”

Post by: Sarah Parsons, Change.org Editor 


CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR PETITION ONLINE @ CHANGE.ORG!!
(you do not need to live in Los Angeles to sign)

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Live near Los Angeles?
Join HONEYLOVE on MEETUP.COM to hear about our upcoming events!
http://www.meetup.com/HoneyLove/

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Video: Honey extraction from a top bar hive

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Honey?

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